Is digital data intelligence always the most intelligent solution?

BLOG: Artificial intelligent technologies are complex digital data processing systems that create a number of data ethical challenges. In a chapter for a forthcoming (2018) Danish book, I consider these challenges and ask that we consider the data density of the new technologies and constructively find solutions to their ethical implications in legislation, technology, design and society in general. I first describe the data ethical approach to (artificial) intelligent technologies, then I use internet connected intelligent toys as an example of a data ethical analysis of digital intelligent technologies.

My conclusion: There are advantages, but there will always be a risk of ultimate manipulation and control. If we take children’s play universes as an example, this may be an area – among others – where digital data intelligence is not the most intelligent solution.

Conclusion of chapter: Where are we going?
Intelligent technologies’ data-intensive processes have legal implications for the individual’s privacy protection. But in addition to the immediate legal challenges, we should also look at what kind of decisions we ask the systems to make for us and what influence they have on our self-control as individual people today and tomorrow. One example is the future implications of combining the many different data profiles that we are building through different services with algorithmic decisionmaking – what are the consequences, for example, if data profiles on children created through intelligent toys are combined with intelligent job matching and recruitment?

One of the most important data ethical questions we should ask to the development of digitally connected intelligent technologies is to the meta narrative of our societies’ evolution: What tale of ourselves as human beings and communities do we support with this data-driven intelligent development? Order, structure, control of nature based on a rational analysis of information about the world is a project that has been pursued since the Enlightenment. We have now reached an ultimate point in human history, where we potentially with intelligent technologies can create order in the data that represent, but also define our environment, including the mess that a human being represents. There are advantages, but hidden in the ultimate order, there will always be a risk of ultimate manipulation and control. If we take children’s play universes as an example, this may be an area – among others – where data intelligence is not the most intelligent solution.

Will make an update on the publication when time comes!

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